Robert L. Shannon, Jr. is a Senior Partner. His practice includes a wide variety of complex litigation, transportation, toxic exposure, construction, professional liability litigation, banking matters, national security matters, products liability, and internal investigations. He has served as lead or co-counsel in a wide variety of complex matters including multidistrict litigation and class actions in both federal and state courts. Mr. Shannon serves as National Trial Counsel for several clients. He has tried 58 successful cases. Outside of Georgia, Mr. Shannon has assumed the role of lead or trial counsel in approximately 75 complex or catastrophic cases. He has handled liability exposure matters approaching $300 million. In March 2016, for the first time as national trial counsel a North Carolina jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $23,000. The plaintiffs valued the case at $14.9 million. Accordingly, he has not taken a significant plaintiff verdict in almost fifteen years. In other non-national trial cases he has taken three other verdicts in Georgia. A DeKalb jury returned a $12,000 verdict in a construction case; a Cobb jury returned a verdict for $220,000 in a hotel shooting case; and the most significant verdict taken to date was when a Fulton jury returned $1.02 million against a $20 million demand. All verdicts were significantly less by multiples of the demands sought from a jury. Mr. Shannon also claims one plaintiff verdict. Despite not practicing as coverage counsel, He was retained to try a coverage matter seeking $4 million. He entered an appearance as lead trial counsel within weeks of trial. The jury returned a verdict in favor of his client for $4 million. He has consistently appeared in cases within weeks of going to trial where plaintiffs are often represented by multiple seasoned attorneys or firms. Mr. Shannon's trial team is usually lean. His team consists of an associate, and a paralegal. To date, he has picked his own juries with a high degree of success, without consultants. Mr. Shannon is licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. He has also appeared in matters in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
Mr. Shannon has an extensive background working highly complex issues with both a national and global scope. He served in the U.S. Air Force prior to attending law school. Upon entering law school, he transferred to the Georgia Air National Guard. In over 20 years of ongoing combat operations, he successfully balanced a demanding legal career with equally demanding military responsibilities. He has worked plans, coordination, and policy formulation in support of defense support of civil authorities for domestic operations involving natural disasters and terrorist threats. He has also worked on some of the nation's most complex national security issues including, but not limited to, violent extremism, cyber threats, the threats against the electromagnetic spectrum, space targeting, and geopolitical security issues involving Eastern Europe, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia as well as counter drug operations in South and Central America. He was the first African American promoted to Colonel then Brigadier General in the Georgia Air National Guard. He served as Vice Commander of the Georgia Air National Guard where he assisted in overseeing approximately 2,900 men and women in two flying wings consisting of 16 JSTARS E-8s and 8 C-130H(2) aircraft; the Air Dominance Center, and the Townsend Bombing Range. Concurrently, General Shannon was tasked to serve as the Air National Guard Assistant/Advisor to the Commander of the Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA) from 2012 to 2014. In September of 2014, AFISRA stood up as 25th Air Force which conducts multisource intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in support of national and combatant objectives with over 26,000 personnel who report to the command.
In 2015, he was promoted to Major General and reassigned to the Pentagon. He is the highest ranking African American in the Air National Guard. General Shannon currently serves as dual-hatted Special Assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard and Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), (A-2), Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Major General Shannon provides administrative oversight and strategic direction for ANG ISR Forces that comprise $3.2 billion of Military Intelligence Program funding as well as additional funding for programmed operations under the National Intelligence Program. These forces provide significant capability to combatant commanders around the globe to include targeting and analysis, cyber intelligence, collections and processing (PED).
Within the A2 Directorate, General Shannon provides advice to the A2 who is responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The A2 is the Air Force's senior intelligence officer who is directly responsible to the Director of National Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The A2 leads five directorates and supports a 30,000-person enterprise. General Shannon holds a Top Secret SCI clearance. He has significant worldwide operational planning and deployment experience in support of combat, contingency, and training operations in over 30 countries. General Shannon has also deployed to the Caribbean and South America in support of counterdrug and joint operations with U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Secretary of the Air Force selected General Shannon to serve on the Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee (ARFPC). The Committee reviews and comments on major policy matters directly affecting reserve components and the mobilization preparedness of the Air Force to the Secretary and the Air Force Chief of Staff. General Shannon serves on the Air Force Senior Officer ISR Council and Cyber General Officer Advisory Council. He is Vice Chair of the Air National Guard’s Strategic Planning System Steering Committee where he assists the Chair in developing strategic policy and initiative recommendations for the 105,400 personnel organization with an annual budget of $10 billion. The Chief of the National Guard Bureau appointed him to the National Guard Joint Diversity Executive Council. The Council develops policy recommendations concerning diversity for 464,900 members of the Army and Air National Guard.
He has completed the Leadership and Crisis Management Course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; the Northern Command’s Joint Task Force Commander’s Course; and the Defense Support of Civil Authorities Executive Course. Numerous media outlets including CNN, 60 Minutes, Fox News, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor have interviewed General Shannon on issues concerning the use of the military in domestic operations as well as high profile court cases.
A.A.& A.A.S, Rose State College
B.A., Valdosta State University
M.S., Oklahoma State University
J.D., University of Georgia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of International Trade
U.S. District Court for the Northern and Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
USLaw.Org, Fall/Winter 2010, Avoid Malpractice by Asserting Admiralty Law Claims, Robert L. Shannon, Jr. and Kevin Abernethy. For full article click here.
USLaw.Org, Spring 2011, The Tort Reform Agenda: After the 2010 Midterm Elections, Robert L. Shannon, Jr. and Kevin Abernethy. For full article click here.
Author, Trends in Government Contracting, p. 103 (Thomson Reuters/Aspatore) (2012), chapter entitled "The New Normal and Challenges for Government Contractors." click here.
Author, Can We Learn from 200 Plus Years of the U.S. Military’s Efforts to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion? Brigadier General, Robert L. Shannon, Jr.
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Super Lawyers, 2013, 2014
Who's Who in the Law in Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle 2005-2015
Georgia Trend magazine's "Legal Elite." 2010
Adjunct Professor, Georgia State University
Air Force Academy Liaison Officer, State of Georgia 1996-2003
American Bar Association
Atlanta Bar Association
Board of Governors for State Bar of Georgia
Board of Trustees for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. Past Chairman, Board of Directors for the Atlanta Business League
Board of Trustees, Client Security Trust Fund, Past Chair
Defense Research Institute
Former Board Member, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
Fulton County Development Advisory Board, 1999-2001
Gate City Bar Association, Past President
Hispanic Bar Association
International Bar Association
Junior Achievement, Board of Directors
Lawyer Pilot Bar
Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, Sustaining Fellow
National Academy of Recording Arts and Science
National Bar Association
National Guard Association of Georgia
Reserve Officer Association
Senator Max Cleland's Judicial Advisory Panel, 2002
Southern Center for International Studies
Special Assistant Administrative Law Judge, Office of State Administrative Hearings 1997- 2001
Standard of Profession Committee
State Bar of Georgia's Diversity Program, Past Co-chair
Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Georgia Supreme Court
University of Georgia's Law School Association Council, Former District 5 Representative
World Futurist Society
World Trade Center Atlanta, Board of Directors